UK trade body looks to aid Chinese brands

Updated: 2011-10-21 10:19

By Wang Wen (China Daily)

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BEIJING - The UK Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), is set to utilize its deep understanding of the Western market to provide support for Chinese consumer product companies intent on moving onto the international stage, according to the institute's president.

The trade association that represents 250 British advertising and brand communications agencies plans to attract at least 20 Chinese clients during the next two years, said Nicola Mendelsohn, president of IPA.

"China, whose advertising expenditure saw a rise of 19.8 percent in 2010, is a potentially large market for the global advertising industry," said Mendelsohn.

Opportunities for IPA members will come from a great number of Chinese brands, such as Baidu Inc and Li Ning Co Ltd, which have the intention and the capability to go global, Mendelsohn said.

In order to raise its profile with European customers, Huawei Technologies Co Ltd, the world's second-largest telecommunication equipment manufacturer by market value, spent 100 million yuan ($15 million) to sponsor an Italian Supercoppa soccer match in Beijing in August.

"We will use the Italian Supercoppa to boost Huawei's smartphone business in European countries and beyond," said Wan Biao, chief executive officer of Huawei Device, a subsidiary of Huawei at the time.

According to the Advertising Association in the UK, a trade association that represents all sides of the advertising industry, China will surpass Germany and take the third-largest share of global advertising expenditure in 2011. Chinese corporations will spend $25,410 million on advertising during the course of the year, after spending $22,647 million in 2010.

Chinese brands are growing rapidly and the number in the global Top 100 has risen to 12 this year from eight in 2010.

However, most of the brands are business-to-business operators and their growth is still mostly reliant on the domestic market, according to Mendelsohn.

Few Chinese consumer companies achieve success in the West, because they lack an understanding of the market and do not appreciate the customer needs there, she said.

"That is what we are good at, since we provide a network for the media, research companies and our members," Mendelsohn said. "We could ease their (Chinese brands) way in the West."

The IPA can also help Chinese companies to set up their business properties in the UK, as the institute works with the UK government, she added.

The institute IPA launched a research and development service for Chinese brand owners in Beijing on Sept 23. It has been developed through a Memorandum of Understanding - which is under negotiation and will be signed within the year - between the IPA and the China Advertising Association. An exchange project included in the service will come into operation in 2012. Chinese brands owners and advertisement industry insiders will spend a week in London, meeting local business insiders to learn more about the market.